Benedict Cumberbatch is best know for playing the title role of Sherlock Holmes in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ stunning adaption of the Conan Doyle books. It is a role that has earned him international acclaim and several awards including two BAFTA nominations and a critic’s choice award for best actor. Most recently on film he has portrayed Major Stewart in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Warhorse and the part of Peter Guillam along side Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy and Colin Firth in Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In 2011 Benedict returned to the national theatre, alternating the roles of the creature and Dr Frankenstein in Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein earning him a Laurence Olivier Award and an evening standard award for best actor.
Benedict studied drama at Manchester University before training at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Early TV roles included Tipping the Velvet, Silent Witness, Nathan Barley, SpooksDunkirk, to the ends of the earth and the last enemy. However it is his incredibly powerful portrayal of Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge cosmologist in the BBC’s highly acclaimed drama Hawking, which bought him to the attention of an international audience and earned him his first BAFTA nomination. His second BAFTA nomination came in 2010 for his portrayal of Bernard in the BBC adaptation of Small Island.
Cumberbatch’s film work includes Starter for Ten, Amazing Grace, Wreckers, Stuart, A Life Backwards, The Other Boleyn Girl, and the dastardly Herburt Marshall in Joe Wright’s Oscar-nominated Atonement.
On stage there have been two seasons in regents park with the new shakespeare co, linsrand in Trevor Nunn’s production of Lady From the Sea, George in Tenessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment, Teesman in Richard Eyre’s stunning West End ensemble production of Hedda Gabbler, for which he received Olivier and Ian Charleston award nominations. Berenger in Ionesco’s Rhinocerus, The Arsonists and The City at The Royal Court and in 2010 he took the role of David Scott Fowler in Thea Sharrock’s National Theatre, award winning Rattigan revival After the Dance.
Benedict has recently starred in the BBC/HBO drama Parades End. Last year he played the role of the Dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. Currently Benedict can be seen on the big screen as the villain in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into the Darkness. Later this autumn he will star as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, ‘Little’ Charles Aiken in August: Osage County alongside Meryl Streep and in 12 Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen. A third series of Sherlock is in production for 2013.